Canadian featherweight Tristan (Boondock) Connelly will face Makwan Amirkhani at UFC 267 on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi.
The 35-year-old from Victoria, who now makes his home in the Vancouver area, is coming off a decision loss to American Pat Sabatini on the UFC 261 undercard in April. It marked Connelly's first fight since his UFC debut Sept. 14, 2019, when he moved up in weight on short notice to win a decision over Brazil's Michel (Demolidor) Pereira.
Connelly won fight of the night honours, collecting a US$50,000 bonus as well as Pereira's $50,000 share since the Brazilian missed the welterweight non-title weight limit by one pound (at 172 pounds) and wasn't eligible for the reward.
Connelly (14-7-0) took that fight on five days notice. The pandemic and neck surgery delayed his return to action.
Amirkhani (16-6-0) is 6-4-0 in the UFC. But the native of Kurdistan, who now fights out of Turku, Finland, has lost his last two outings and three of the last four after winning five of his first six in the promotion. Two of the recent losses were to name fighters in Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos.
UFC 267, at Etihad Arena on Yas Island, will feature two title fights with light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz facing No. 1 contender Glover Teixeira and bantamweight title-holder Aljamain Sterling meeting former champion Petr Yan.
Connelly, who normally walks around at 180 to 185 pounds, has competed mostly at lightweight (155 pounds). He had to make 146, the limit for non-featherweight title bouts, for Sabatini.
He weighed in at 169.5 pounds for the Pereira bout.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2021